Feb. 23, 2012
MOGADISHU — Two strong explosions rocked the strategic Somali city of Baidoa hours after Ethiopian and pro-government forces wrested it from Al-Qaeda-backed insurgents, officials and witnesses said Thursday.
Shebab spokesman Sheikh Abdulaziz Abu Musab claimed responsibility for the blasts late Wednesday, saying they had inflicted "heavy losses" on pro-government forces.
He said the explosions "struck them when they entered positions our fighters had emptied". He pledged to continue the conflict "until Islam becomes the only principle that rules the country."
News of the blasts came as world powers met the fragile Somali goverment at a London conference Thursday to try to build on progress in the struggle against the Islamist militants, who have allied themselves to Al-Qaeda.
The Shebab claims of casualties could not be verified.
Ethiopian troops, who recently entered the country to back up a weak government army, have placed the southern Somali town under curfew after sweeping into Baidoa on Wednesday afternoon without resistance.
One resident, Warsame Adan, said a local factory had been targeted in one of the blasts after Ethiopian forces took it over.
"We don't know if there were casualties, as we could not go out at night because there was a curfew."
Source, Pro Active News